Somnambulist (poem)

(by Daniel R. Jones)

“Put me to bed!”
the somnambulist said,
“Small wonder, it’s where I belong.”

But he knew as much
to ask- as such,
I wonder, wasn’t he wrong?

Nevertheless,
I acquiesced
and led him back to his chamber.

But the very next night—
the selfsame plight!
I followed to keep him from danger.

My breath short and shallow
through halls lit with tallow,
I shadowed with a strange elation.

Strolling slowly through streets,
(all the time, fast-asleep)
I surveyed his noctambulation.

Over cobblestone paths
we passed, at last
arriving on a star-lit lawn.

The moon garden seemed
in its midnight gleam
to rival Eden at dawn.

Queen Anne’s Lace
spilled over the place,
there in that botany nirvana.

There were snowdrops a light,
candy-tufts, lily-white,
all manner of nocturnal fauna.

But there on the periphery
came quite a mystery:
there were Sylphs rubbing Luna Moth wings.

They kneaded in dust
to give the insects their thrust,
bade them fly as the faerie song rings.

It’s what happened next
that still has me vexed.
In my mind it was vivid and real.

I thought I, the stalker,
and he, the sleepwalker
that I chased through pastoral fields.

But the quarry I followed
through woodlands and hollow
snuck behind me with a slow, noiseless creep.

And he shook me about,
all the time shouting out,
“Come back to your bed, you’re asleep!”

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